The central East Coast is a paradise for golfers. Mild year-round temperatures attract vacationers eager to practice their putting skills. The area from northern Pennsylvania down through the Carolinas offers a variety of courses designed for all skill levels. Newcomers can hone their long drive on a 9-hole, while next door seasoned pros practice scoring a “sandy” out of the bunker on a Jack Nicklaus-designed course.
If you’re headed to the Atlantic seaboard for a relaxing vacay, why not enjoy the greens as well as the greenery? From immaculately manicured emerald lawns to well-stocked pro shops, these three East Coast golf resorts have everything you need to tee off in style.
Skytop Lodge, Poconos PA
It’s no wonder Golf Digest rated Skytop Lodge’s 18-hole, par-72 golf course as one of the “Best Places to Play” and GolfAdvisor users give it 4.9 stars. The rolling hills, pines and placid lake of Skytop Lodge’s 5,500-acre property in the Pocono Mountains make it one of the most scenic courses in the region. It’s challenging enough for aspiring PGA players, without being too intense for amateurs. Look for a mountain track with highly varied terrain and petite greens that put your putting skills to the test. Water hazards are dispersed across two holes, and sand traps strategically placed throughout the 6,656-yard course. Skytop Lodge is home to several upscale eateries with stunning views, including Lakeview Restaurant and the Fairview Bar at first tee. Visitors can also enjoy catch-and-release fishing, swimming, hiking and horseback riding without leaving the property.
The first fairways at this historic golf center were laid in the 1890s. More than a hundred years later, Pinehurst is one of the largest golfing complexes in the world. It boasts 9 championship courses, several onsite hotels, multiple restaurants and pro shops. Popular courses include Jack Nicklaus’ 7,118-yard Course No. 9 and the par-70 Course No. 2, created by famed Scottish golf pro Donald J. Ross and featured in the Links and Tiger Woods PGA Tour video games. The latter has hosted more single championships than any other American course, including consecutive U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open Championships.
Greenbrier, Sulphur Springs NC
Another historic course, the legendary Greenbrier opened its first 18-hole course in 1914. Numerous cups and championship games were held there, and the number of onsite courses grew. Today, Greenbrier has five courses including The Snead, a Nicklaus-worthy par-71 designed by Tom Fazio and exclusive to Greenbrier Sporting Club members. Non-members traditionally golf on the facility’s three main fairways, which include the expansive greens at the Original Greenbrier course – resigned in 1977 by Jack Nicklaus and currently undergoing renovation until 2019. Historical lodging options range from 200-year-old cottages to large estate homes and resort suites.
Every golf course offers unique challenges. Whether you crave the rolling greens and scenic views of Skytop Lodge in the Poconos or prefer to perfect your game on a classic course with 100-year history, there’s a resort to meet your needs. So, grab your clubs. Steady your swing. And get ready for a golfing vacay that’ll bring you one step closer to your perfect par.